The most exciting breakthroughs of the
21st century will not occur because of
technology but because of an expanding
concept of what it means to be human.
John Naisbitt

Over two decades ago, I had an article published in the Journal of Creative Behavior (Elliott, 1986) that asserted that scholars were using the wrong metaphors to describe creative behavior, if they were looking at the cognitive dimensions of human capabilities. In that article, I argued that it is our prefrontal lobe’s volitional capabilities that make the human/humane difference in the release of creative potential. The quotation by John Naisbitt above underscores my more than one score old assertion. He and I concur that the most exciting breakthroughs of the 21st century will not occur because of our cognitive abilities with technology but because of our expanding concept of what it means to engage the most human and humane behavior mediated by technological tools.

During this sabbatical leave, I challenged myself to revisit my claim of 1986 and to put Naisbitt’s proclamation to the test. I elected to study the impact of Web 2.0 technologies on my own cognitive, affective, and volitional capacities as a precursor to designing and conducting research on these aspects of intelligence as they relate to the use of 21st century technology with my research subjects -- early childhood and elementary pre-service teachers of mathematics.

As a mathematics teacher educator involved in school mathematics reform, I began, in earnest, to “walk the talk” associated with the 21st century transformational learning being touted by futurists like Chris Dede (1996, 1999) impressed by the prospects of infusing Web 2.0 technologies into learning environments thus allowing “distributed-learning communities” to flourish.

In this report, you will find information about the activities I engaged in during my Spring 2010 Sabbatical Leave to help me better understand the impact Web 2.0 technologies are having on the way learning occurs, the way knowledge is defined and warranted, and the way creativity in teaching and learning can be expressed. Believing that teaching should move toward educational models such as “distributed-learning communities” punctuated with “digitally-mediated learning,” I heeded Dede’s admonishment to “engage in initiatives based on similar processes, so that the medium of change reinforces the methods.” The report that follows is, therefore,” shaped to its purpose.” Its purpose, after all, is to demonstrate what roles Web 2.0 technologies can play in the academic life of teachers and learners.

In the Introduction of this digitally created report, you will find my application for this sabbatical leave along with documents authorizing this leave request in digital formats for website display. You, also, will find my Visual CV developed using hypertext multi-media technology to convey what, heretofore, appears as static text on my traditional curriculum vitae. In addition, you will find an explanation of how this digital report was conceived and conceptualized using National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) to circumscribe the report’s content .

In the NETS - T Standards section of this report, you will find the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) that all educators are asked to demonstrate competencies with as we move into the 21st century. Along with these standards, you will find my reflections on each standard and links to artifacts that directly relate to the specific NETS-T subcategories.
In addition to the listing of the Standards, you can find the Self-Assessment I took to demonstrate my growing competence with the NETS Standards for Teachers.

In the Artifacts & Rationales section of this report, you will find all of my sabbatical artifacts along with rationales which are offered as evidence of my development in each of the NETS-T subcategories. The reader should note that on the left side of the page, NETS-T categories are listed to make referencing these standards easier when each artifact is examined. The cross-referencing links between pages are made by the relationships defined by the blog categories. In the Reader’s Guide, I have included just a sampling of the artifacts/rationales/reflections that can be found in the fully digitized report.

In the Web 2.0 Tools section of the report, you will find definitions of each of the Web 2.0 technologies that I studied during my sabbatical and if you click on the “read more” phrase under each technology listed, you will find examples of how I plan to use these technologies in an online course I am planning to offer during Summer 2011. This course is being developed under the auspices of the Instructional Innovative Fellows (IIF) Project sponsored by the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

On the References page, you will find the books, journal articles, podcasts, and other sources that I used to prepare the contents of this relational, reflective digital report.

The content of this report is as important as the process used to assemble and present this report. Using multi-media hardware and hyperlinked software packages, I have been able to assemble the report using the technologies that were the focus of my sabbatical inquiries. Using blogs, WebQuests, social networking, and social sharing technology, I assembled the report. Using a thumb drive, a burned discs and a dedicated website, I am able to present the efforts of my labor for various audiences interested in my sabbatical activities. [Note: The thumb drive and the CD included contain the complete digitized copy of my Sabbatical Report 2010. These items are included here for those without ready Internet access. For those with easy Internet access, they can find my complete Sabbatical Report 2010 at the following URL address: http://people.umass.edu/pelliott.]

Please use this report as a basis for assessing my productivity during this, my fifth, sabbatical leave.